During the N.American tour on 2015 I was contacted by Michael Armstrong-Jones who runs the Bryn Armstrong-Jones Memorial Children's Fund. He asked me if I would make a donation to his charity, anything would do, a signed photo, CD, DVD, basically anything that can be auctioned. I agreed but informed him I was away and wouldn't send him anything until I returned.
I hold my hands up and admit, upon my return from tour I forgot. I think getting back into my home routine and catching up with friends took over.
It wasn't long until I was back in the states again on other business and I got a gentle reminder from him that I'd promised a donation. I apologised for not sending anything and said I would upon my return.
When I got back from the states I did some filming for the YouTube channel Computerphile, it was then my birthday and a day later I went to Amsterdam for 3 days with some friends for another birthday celebration.
During this time I noticed that a couple of users had been writing negative comments on my YouTube channel. One in particular was called 'yootubesuxass'. To be honest I don't care about that, I have no insecurities with my guitar playing. I am neither the best or the worst out there and if someone wants to write negative things then that is their problem. I found the whole thing quite funny.
Here is a screen shot of the conversation (go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6I8t9g7U0o to see it in the flesh, although he may have deleted some comments):
I totally forgot about this as one does, but when I returned from Amsterdam what I didn't forget was to send something to the charity. I looked at what I had in my house, picked up a Blu-Ray of The Australian Pink Floyd Show - Eclipsed by the Moon, signed it and sent it to the address he had provided.
When I got back from the post box I went to message Michael to let him know it was on its way and to apologise for not sending it sooner but my messages wouldn't go through. He had clearly blocked me on Facebook.
I also have another private Facebook account for close friends only, so I used that to message him and he was very happy I donated and claimed to not know why I couldn't message him on my main account. I know why because I am a computer geek but I wasn't going to get into that with him. I'd done my bit and I was prepared to leave it there.
He sent me a link to the charity page and requested my friendship on Facebook again, which I accepted.
I had a quick look through and saw that various other people had donated, Ginger Gilmour and Jools Holland to name two.
I also noticed on his personal profile that he was talking about a band called Modern English quite a bit and for some reason that rang a bell with me. He also had links to Eadie Rose Photography, his photography company which I also recognised.
A couple of days later I remembered where I had seen those names mentioned before, they were on the YouTube channel of 'yootubesuxass'.... I started to wonder if my hilarious troll was actually the guy that I had donated to. It irritated me a little so I wrote a status about it mentioning no names. This is where it became interesting.
He contacted me within a few minutes with the following:
He was denying that it was him on my videos but he admitted it was his YouTube account.
Anyone out there who works with computers in any way will know how hard it is to hack a Google / YouTube account. If Google detects you are signing in from somewhere abnormal it asks extra security questions and emails the owner letting them know that there has been suspicious activity. I didn't believe that he was hacked for a second.
Then I googled his YouTube account name and came up with many other comments he'd made on other people's videos.
He's clearly a lovely guy making friendly comments. Exactly the sort of person you would expect to be running a legitimate children's charity.
Let's face it, the chances of him being hacked over the course of a year is slim to non existent. He's an angry troll that likes writing nonsense on people's videos.
It wasn't until I was contacted by other people that had had similar experiences to me that I started to doubt him further and decided to write this. I won't name their names, if they want to post this blog on their own sites and have their say that is their business.
Michael contacted me and told me he'd changed his username and password, which was quite amusing because now his venom was written under the name of his charity!
Just to remove credibility to his hacking argument I did a little more reading and noticed something else. He has a tell in the way he writes things. He loves to put an O in his smileys, instead of writing :) like most people do he writes :O)) with the double bracket. Am I expected to believe that this hacker writes the same way as he does?
See how his personal public posts feature the same smiley, not just once, but almost every time.
All of these posts are publicly available so I don't think I am breaking any laws by posting them here.
After checking out his charity page I noticed that there was no information about any auctions, fundraising events or anything that you would associate with a real charity. Some of my friends posted on the wall asking for his charity number and their comments were deleted.
I seriously doubt the legitimacy of his charity, and although I cannot prove it I believe the photo he uses as the cover photo to be faked.
I've emailed the HSF to ask if this is in any way legitimate. The lettering to me looks like it has been photoshopped on.
I would suggest that people make complaints to Facebook about his page, and ask him questions publicly, like how much money he has raised with these donations and what his charity number is.
Some people I know have been blocked from seeing his page but here is the link. https://www.facebook.com/brynarmstrongjonesmemorialchildrensfund
I don't really care for trolls, they are pathetic people that hide behind anonymity. I don't really care for liars. I think that asking for donations for what is probably a fake charity is disgusting. All three together is appalling.
Please remember, these are my personal opinions from my experience, I urge you to look and make your own mind up :O))